I have a bone to pick with David Lehrer's letter, excusing Dornan for his "little Jew" remark.
Lehrer chooses "inelegant" to describe Dornan's slip-of-the-tongue, and the presence of a Jewish member of Congress as proof that Dornan is not bigoted.
What does Lehrer think bigotry is, anyway? It seems to me that it's much easier for Dornan to vote judiciously and surround himself with politicians who may be willing to scratch his back, than it is to keep deeper beliefs from escaping his lips.
Dornan's epithet belies--at the least--his insensitivity. Perhaps it also suggests prejudice beneath the surface. He compounds this with his "affront to Jewish people" remark about Posner. Does Dornan see Jews as separate from Americans? Doesn't he think Jews can be outraged as Americans?
Bigots see people in colors, religions and political beliefs. Bigots "inadvertently" use words like "nigger," "chink" and "kike" to distinguish themselves from their scapegoats.
I can only imagine what Dornan's social conversation must be like, and that perhaps we really know very little of his true attitudes. Unfortunately, this little bit is heard by a lot of people who see it as approval of their own prejudices.
Dornan needs to do more than excuse his inelegance. And thinking people need to do more than allow him to vaporize it out of the Congressional Record.
And Lehrer needs to be less forgiving of this kind of behavior.